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26 May 2012 @ 10:56 pm
Eurovision 2012 Semifinal 2  
Tonight's ridiculousness comes to you in loving memory of leni_jess, who I was never lucky enough to meet, but am very happy to have made laugh.

And also with very happy birthday wishes to nursedarry: I have paused on knitting like a fiend so that I don't send you my germs on your socks!

SBS apparently has a Eurovision radio station rocking out this weekend. I have to say that if it's another day on the sofa tomorrow, I may be tempted to tune in! And it's back to Azerbaijan we go. The audience look more pleased to be here tonight, which leads me to believe that either the other night was an anomaly, or they were given a stern talking to afterwards and told to lift their game.

The presenters are back, and again, are very nicely dressed! I will never see any of these three again after this weekend, but will always think of them as classy. It's that easy, TV people, and yet so many get it so wrong … Last night's jokes about the difficulty of French continue, which is rather sweet, really.

[Eighteen countries, ten winners, two hours of my life I'll never get back …]
And straight into things with Serbia's Zeljko Something-starting-with-J (the surtitles go by too quickly!) and Love is Not a Thing. And OH! Beautiful string intro! Really lovely. He's got one of those classic mid-20th century male crooning voices of the type that Michael Bublé aspires to and the sort of dark brooding look that keeps teenaged girls coming back for Heathcliffe even though they know he's a wanker. Two violins and a drum on stage, with a folk guitar and flute rounding out the sound, to great effect I must say. Key change, up tempo: DRINK! I'm really liking this one, it has a great mix of portentousness, catchiness and Euroseriousness. Fingers crossed!

FYR Macedonia with Kalliopi performing Crno i Belo. She is wearing classic early 90s lesbian business chic and in fact looks not unlike my mother. This is weird. Happily, my mother cannot sing and to the best of my knowledge has no Serbian relatives. Well-performed power ballad with a bit of stretch on the high notes, but the sort of roughness that sounds good. That guitarist is playing for dear life, dear wee bairn. Could be a surprise hit – loads of passion and that's always a Eurovision fave.

The Netherlands, Joan Franka, You and Me. And we have fire pits on stage and she is wearing a Native American headdress … and looks a little stoned. Apparently the song is about them being children and playing cowboys and Indians. Possibly a teeny tiny bit culturally insensitive? Oh they have a banjo and a piano accordian, I am prepared to do a lot of forgiving. I do love me a dodgy instrument! The backup band look like Mumford and Cousins, and seem to be having a lot more fun than the singer. Maybe there has been a schism, as they're positioned about 50 feet away from her on one of the long stage aprons. The song itself is a bit meh, though the tune isn't bad. The singing isn't really lively enough for it, though the playing is making up for that, but still ... They've all come together for the end, so there's a message of reconciliation underneath.

Next up Malta, Kurt Calleja with This is the Night. It's a song about a chap trying to pick up a girl, and he looks disturbingly like a chap who used almost these identical lines on me in a club back in 1990. Down to the hair and outfit. Come on, Malta, I know your young folk are hipper than that! It's harmless Europop with a nice little dance remix bit inserted in the middle and a spot of smoke machine (drink!) and a chap busting out Vanilla Ice dance moves. Seriously? The last 22 years feel wasted, so wasted.

On to Belarus and Litesound with We are the Heroes. Zhooshy space sound effects to open and shadowy figures moving through downlighting to reveal a chap in a chainmail vest and tight black trousers. Classic Eurovision! Five post-apocalyptically dressed young lads of reasonable hotness carving up the stage and using their instrument stands for a spot of on-stage acrobatics. Love it! Props = drinks! The song itself is nothing much, but it's being delivered with conviction! Though he lost it a bit in his waily waily spot … You're not Beyonce, son, let go of the dream.

Ad break: water! And we're back! A little extra with the presenters going around thanking all the backstage workers and handing out roses. Their normal clothes are nice, too! I think they might be my fave presenters ever!

Portugal's Filipa and Vida Minha, which has a traditional Portuguese backbeat and swing right from the outset. I quite like her and her spangly frock, even with its thigh split. Oh, nope, highly visible side zip. Unfortunate. The song is technically good and well performed, but doesn't have a lot to engage the crowds. Two good key changes, though (drink!) and she's bringing it home for a strong finish. I think this one scores high on the talent rankings, but that won't necessarily equate to high in the vote tally.

Bring on the Ukraine and Gaitana with Be My Guest. BIG STAGE PROPS! Wacky fringed dress and flowery headdress. If they both survive the performance I will be very surprised. The songs title seems to also be the lyrics for the most part. Backup dancers with trumpets in kilts appearing from beingd the big prop screens, wearing the oddest white boots ever seen. Good belting voice, and she looks great, but I think this song would be better with a stronger beat and rave 'accessories'. And we end with pyro! DRINK LOTS! (No costume reveal, though. What's going on?)

Bulgaria and Sofi Marinova with Love Unlimited. Low-key compared to the last, one girl in white minidress and kinky boots, flipping that high ponytail like a thoroughbred with a fly problem. She's quite good, but in my fevered state I'm a bit lacking in whelm. And she fell off a note towards the end. Goodbye, Sofi. Take care, you're clearly a nice chick, I wish you well.

Slovenia's Eva Botoi next with Verjamen. Sorry, Eva, even your flowery princess dress and all-white-dress backing singers aren't enough to keep me, I'm off for a drink of water. Though I must say, that's a good display of corsetry!

Up now, Croatia's Nina Badric with Nebo. She appears to be wearing a black coccon, could our first reveal be coming? Two boy backing dancers dressed like Gaultier models and three girly singers in bubble skirts. Mmmm. Those boys are a bit tasty! She's turned around to show us a big bow on the back of the frock, but it's not coming off. I don't understand! Oh, the song … er, yeah. Fine.

SWEDEN! The very nice Loreena with Euphoria who I like immediately because I had that haircut in 1991 and that dress in 2000. Though not with trousers underneath, you wily hipster. I quite like this song and would dance the hell out of it at a club, but I wonder if it needs a bit more in the way of clear vocal performance rather than the singing within the music that she's doing (and doing very well). It's picking up a bit towards the end, and the dance act was cool! Snow! Drink!  Fingers crossed she does very well: I could make a case to get to Stockholm to at least three mags!

Georgia with Anri Jokhadze and I'm a Joker. Which would explain why he is wearing red Death Eater robes and has four backup singers in bondage gear. Oh, he's ditched the robe and is now dressed as Mr Eurotrash, which is clearly a pisstake and actually a bit funny. The backup costumes have that Eastern European aesthetic that defeats my drag eye, but regardless of sex or gender, they all look a little bit nervous about their pointy-ended hairpieces which are hovering very close to their eyes. They've made it to the end unscathed! Hurrah! Well danced in terrifying bodices, ladies!

Time for Turkey's Can Bonomo with Love Me Back. He's a hotty! And his backup boys have capes! And are doing the Batman Dance! Oh Turkish boys, why so tasty? Not spectacularly on the beat with the dancing, and one's just tripped on his cape, but who cares? Can's jacket has weird tippety like things descending from his armpits. I can't tell you why. Oh, and the capes have joined together to make a ship! Which makes sense of his little leather sailor's hat: I thought he was just prepped for his clubbing later on tonight. Nice enough song, lots of Nonny nonny, I jest not. 

ESTONIA! MY FAVOURITES! Ott Lepland with Kuula. Oh, what a lovely voice he has, though he seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that this is a competition in which singing is actually important and has left all of his ridiculous stage accessories at home, just one elegant backup singer. If this was actually judged on songs and the singing of them, I feel that Ott would be a runaway winner (though he and Englebert will have to battle in the final). As it is, he's cute enough to make it through to the finals, unless European women are harsher than I believe them to be!

Backstage interviews, including Lena from 2010. She's kind of cute, really. And Julia has found Ott, he's a total sweety! Yay! And she's also found a lecherous heavy metal lad who is a lot of fun. Ah, journalism!

Slovakia gives us Max Jason Mai with Don't Close Your Eyes. And yes, he is our groper, with pubis-hugging leather trousers and an open jacket sans shirt. Ah, such a good grasp of the rock classics from before he was born … I can't work out if he's a bit pitchy on the verse or if it's written that way. The chorus is hard and driven and he's certainly got the abs to wear that top. Some great hair work from the band, it's a beautiful thing in its own way.

And lovely Norway! Tooji with Stay. He's wearing a hoodie! To disguise his Beiber fringe … He's got four very good backup dancers and they are all making the most of the hard beats. Pyro for an extra drink! And look, it's a dance tune, like most other dance tunes. Though they are pleasant to look at …

Bosnia and Herzegovina are represented by Mya Sar with Korake Ti Znam, who is a classy chick with a piano and terrifying shoulder wings. Seriously, costume designers, she's a nice looking woman, why the Evil Queen outfit? Again, she seems to have made the mistake of bringing a decent song and performing it well. Oh, she's stepping away from the piano for the second half, and the dress looks even weirder standing up. Wind machine! Drink! Yah, I've got nothing. She's too good to mock, but not flashy enough to win.

Lithuania to finish up, with Donny Montell and Love is Blind: he is wearing a blindfold covered in Swarovski crystals. There is a definite Disco S&M subtext to this semi! Love isn't blind, Donny. I'm a coughing febrile mess at the moment and Mr B is not keen to jump me, which is a good thing, because he would get a punch. And there goes the blindfold, follwed by Donny rocking out a one-handed cartwheel and a spot of hip thrusting. And now he has a bunch of pole-dancing silhouettes on the big screens behind him. Donny, I suspect you are not the committed lover you pretend you are!

This semi was much odder than the first one, or possibly my fever is just spiking. I am hoping for both Estonia and Sweden tonight: fingers crossed! Recaps time! And now for the interval act. Five past winners including the cute Alexander from Norway and Lena and the lovely Serbian lesbian Maria Whatsy! Oh shush, I'm rubbish at names in real life, too. Alex is growing up, but I still want to tweak his little cheeks! Lena time: she is much taller than I remember. And now that bloody song is back in my head, dammit!  And last year's winners are back singing Waterloo! Alexander is still clearly carrying that torch for Lena, BTW. And last year's girl winner has clearly never heard Waterloo before. Bloody Gen Y! It's OK, Maria is in there picking up the slack, and with infinitely more class.

A quick flick through the pre-qualified countries, out of which Englebert Humperdink remains the outstanding performer: seriously good voice. And the others.

Voting done! Here we go: Lithuania! Donny will hipthrust again, oh joy. Bosnia & Herzegovina! Well, at least she's talented! Serbia! Well done that chap. Max has his shirt off altogether now. Ukraine! Well, that'll keep us awake. Sweden! HURRAH! FYR Macedonia! Go Mum! Norway! Really? OK. ESTONIA! JOY AND DELIGHT! Malta! A triumph for Vanilla Ice. And finally, Turkey! But of course. Not all the choices I would have made, but then, I wouldn't have formed a single currency without centralised financial governance, either.

And on that note, I leave you until tomorrow, by which point you will probably know the winners before I do!

Darry Willisnursedarry on May 26th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Very considerate!

*smooches you stoopid*
Catherine17catherines on May 26th, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
I have a bit of a thing for young Norway, I must say. He gets hotter every year...

And Sweden was gorgeous, as was Turkey, and I did rather like heavy metal guy. Sad that he and the Joker didn't get through...
Nennenenne on May 26th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
As a Norwegian I find it a bit embarrassing that I have no idea what the Norwegian or any other songs sound like. Is it today?
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on May 27th, 2012 09:03 am (UTC)
Your fever may have been spiking but you are still pithily on song... I keep forgetting this isn't about the song and the singing :) So some of the entries you liked, I didn't want to go through because they lost pitch, or went flat at a vital moment....
And Norway was HOT. Originally from Iran. And seriously HOT! Now I feel like a dirty old woman. See what Eurovision does to us?